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Gender Identity

Facebook now has 70 options under gender for Irish users

The new definitions include hermaphrodite and gender fluid.

IRISH FACEBOOK USERS who don’t identify as either male or female can now choose from about 70 gender definitions on their profiles, including options like hermaphrodite, gender fluid and androgynous.

People can also choose who they share their different gender definitions with in recognition of the fact that some users faced hurdles in sharing their “true gender identity with others”, according to the social network.

In addition, users can select their preferred pronoun – that is, whether they are referred to using the male “he/his”, female “she/her” or non-specific “they/their”.

There is also the option to choose a custom gender for those who don’t like any of the predefined options.

The move, which comes ahead of the pending same-sex marriage referendum, follows the company introducing the different gender options in other territories like the US and the  UK, where the shift has been welcomed by LGBT groups.

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In a post last year explaining the changes to US Facebook users, the company’s diversity team said:

When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female’.”

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Facebook updated those selections in February this year when it opened up the categories to include user-specified options:

Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own. As before, you can add up to ten gender terms and also have the ability to control the audience with whom you would like to share your custom gender.”

First published 10.37am

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